Eli Manning wants Giants to get off to better start
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Every year, Eli Manning comes into the season with a checklist of things to improve on. Whether it's a higher completion percentages, trying to hit more deep passes, or trimming the number of interceptions, there's always something to fix.
Yes, even this year.
While Manning is coming off his best season as an NFL quarterback with nearly 5,000 passing yards, a Pro Bowl selection and a second Super Bowl MVP, the one thing he wants to cut down on is the thing that made 2011 so remarkable: the comebacks.
Tom Coughlin set the tone for the championship season with the word "finish." Manning's word for 2012 would seem to be "start."
"We did a lot of good things but I think we can be a little more consistent throughout the whole game," Manning said Monday at the 35th annual Guiding Eyes for the Blind Golf Classic at Mt. Kisco Country Club. "We had a lot of fourth-quarter victories, come from behind, which is nice to have and be able to do. But it also means you didn't play real well the first three quarters."
Manning and the Giants will get back to work on that beginning Tuesday, the first of three straight days of mandatory minicamp for the Giants before they break for the summer and return to training camp on July 26 in Albany.
For Manning, the minicamp serves as a final exam for the younger players to show what they've learned throughout the entire offseason program.
"A lot has been thrown at them these last three weeks, so minicamp is one last time to start from the get-go, review a lot, and they have one more time to hear everything introduced so they can really start to understand our offense and learn what we're trying to do," Manning said. "It'll be good to throw it at them one more time for a few days."
Manning already knows all the secrets, and not just in the offense. He noted that he went in early for his pre-minicamp physical on Monday to avoid the rush and get to the golf event on time. "I've learned a few things in nine years," he said of the veteran move.
As for the actual football, besides eliminating the need for dramatic comeback wins and hoping to not break his own record for fourth-quarter touchdown passes, Manning said he'd like to see his turnover numbers come down and improve on third-down efficiency.
Those improvements have already begun in OTAs and other workouts. The Giants know they can finish. On Tuesday, Manning and the Giants will start focusing on their starts.